back to article Exoskeletons-as-a-service offered as helping hand to warehouse workers exhausted by pandemic

An outfit named German Bionic has noted that the freight and logistics industries "have been under enormous pressure since the beginning of the pandemic" and suggested exoskeletons-as-a-service as a helping hand for such workers. The company yesterday unveiled a new exoskeleton called the Cray X that is designed to support …

  1. Teiwaz Silver badge

    The suits spew out copious data so that managers can track workers, with ERP and other application integrations a feature not a bug.

    How soon will it be until it's directing the wearer... like one of the Tracey bros marionettes....?

  2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Terminator

    if a user becomes injured while wearing one

    will it be because .. it's holding them wrong?

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: if a user becomes injured while wearing one

      Or maybe 'being held by them wrong'?

  3. analyzer

    Already been there

    Exoskeletons were tried out in one of our warehouses for a few days. The general feedback was that there was a genuine difference between with and without when picking. Major problems were battery life, we could only get a maximum of 6 hours use before changing but it took nearly 10 hours to recharge. As our warehouses are 24/7 that would mean 2 spare batteries for each exoskeleton. This of course pushed the cost up quite a bit, but to the point where even the people who would benefit felt that was too much when our maximum weight is 25KG.

    Renting may change the economics but the back of the envelope says it would increase case costs by about a penny per item, and it may sound like a really stupid thing to say at the moment, food retail can't afford another increase in costs.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Already been there

      A 28Kg lift exoskeleton will have marginal at best direct cost benefits (outside of some niche tasks) because is doesn't replace any actual workers or fill the gap between humans and the smallest fork lifts. What it does do is reduce some specific risks and consequent medical bills not on the daily profit/loss sheet. The biggest advantage is in widening the pool of those capable of performing an activity by reducing the requirement for an intrinsic level of strength (and all four limbs?)

      A 100Kg lift exoskeleton on the other hand would probably be of immense use across a wide range of activities without being significantly larger than the occupant.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Already been there

        Not really. I (did?) handle V8 and V12 blocks all the time (think up to 40 a day). As we have to lift flip and rotate them, they have to be worked using an overhead crane. This probably adds about 25% to the working time. Having an extra 28kg of lift would mean 80% of tasks would no longer require the hoist.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    I think I'll just wait a bit

    Until they have an APU with Hollywood mags in their line up.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Noooooo!!!

    What would help would be

    - realistic pick targets so people don’t take shortcuts, working in a dangerous manner - mainly some of the East Europeans who don’t give a fuck about anyone and dump a case of wine in their haste and just leave it to make their targets so they don’t get dismissed

    - warehouses where stock is located sensibly- not wine on top of charcoal brickettes or rice/flour/tins on top of pot noodles

    - warehouse systems and processes where you aren’t forced to (dangerously) over-fill cages because the IT thinks it will all fit

    Furloughed from work and working for a big 4 supermarket for now to address my wage shortfall.

    Exoskeletons are the last thing hard pressed workers need in warehouses. Safe and realistic working practices and processes are.

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